In ancient times, Israel, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia were part of the land known as Canaan, Jordan lies in the Near East & bordered by all of these countries. Jordan is named after the River Jordan, which flows from modern-day Jordan to Israel. The city was a major hub for trade and an important trade centre. Many cities are mentioned in the Bible for the reign of every major empire from the past through the present.
Nabateans are known to have carved the capital city of Petra from Sandstone cliffs. However, many cities of the region were founded by Alexander the great. Jordan today was an Independent nation till 1946 CE, and its formal name is The Hashemite state of foreign empires and European powers. Amman is the capital of Jordan, One of Jordan’s most popular and prosperous cities. Jordan has witnessed the rise and fall of many empires, and it has evolved into the Modern city which is present today. Jericho was a continuously inhabited city since 9000 Bc in Jordan .
Jordan witnessed developments of architecture, agriculture and ceramics in the chalcolithic and bronze ages.The famous ancient monuments namely the walls of Jericho, The treasury of Petra, Nabataean Tombs of Petra, the Theatre of Petra and more.
Jordan witnessed tremendous development at the end of the twentieth century. Expansion in Urbanization and welcoming global trends of architecture have been adopted in Many Jordanian cities. All this has resulted in a shift in Jordanian architectural styles, a reformation of Urban fabric with contribution by new and unique architectural forms which neutralises the traditional architecture of Jordan which was a heritage borne out of the multi-culture existing in the region.
Some Jordanian architects believe in restoring the essence of heritage culture and oppose the reaction of the emergence of extensive Urbanisation. Thereby, they apply elements of architecture from the past to Modern Projects with the idea of being in touch with the Past and preserving it.
Several attempts to find methods and architectural ideas associated with the cultural heritage of Jordan in an attempt to recreate the identical style in Jordanian architecture. Keeping in mind the economic characteristics and social fit among the Jordanian community. Not only this, but they also have to face cultural challenges resulting from the globalisation, Environmental conditions of Jordan.
The article discusses the contemporary structures which are the total opposite of the traditional architectural language of Jordan & the ones which try to keep the essence of ancient architectural elements within themselves.
The Abu Samra
Abu Samra House designed by Symbiosis Designs LTD located in Jordan. The House has an area of 1300 m² and was completed in 2008. It stands out due to its colour and material texture, it does not follow the conventional usage of stone in Amman. The form is two sets of masses which are cubes interlinked with the help of a corridor. Openings are basic rectangular windows. Textured surfaces with wide glass panes & Earth- tones are emphasised, play of Planar elements & 3D masses together define the architectural characteristics. All of this,the massing, openings treatment and use of earthly tone colours are novel with the architectural vocabulary of Jordan.
Ayla Golf Club
Oppenheim Architecture designed the Ayla Golf Club which covers an area of 5800 m² and was finished in 2018. It is mainly inspired by the architectural heritage of the ancient Bedouins. The dune scapes and impressive mountainous Jordanian Deserts are also part of the inspiration for the same. The organic design and the undulating fabric cover the structure with sheer elegance, it is the core of Ayla Oasis, a part of the mixed-use resort in Aqaba city. The clubhouse consists of an 18 – hole golf course and a golf Academy, whereas retail, dining, banquet, spa, and lounge are also a part of the Clubhouse.Interior and exterior walls of various volumes are enveloped under one continuous surface emerging from the sand. These curvilinear shotcrete shells blend with the ground and reject the ideas of conventional walls and ceilings. Mashrabiya-inspired natural light penetration from the perforated corten steel screens is designed, The triangular openings of the screen are inspired by Jordanian Patterns. Also, the rustic metal and shotcrete colours associate the structure with the surrounding mountain tones, making it a part of the landscape.
Royal Academy for Natural Conservation
Khammash Architects designed a 3500 m Royal Academy for Natural Conservation. The academy building was once a site of a functioning quarry. A celebration of quarry with the help of the project by using a man-made exposed cliff with a deformed cut. The building is designed in line with the quarry line with the addition of stone construction to the bedrock. One elevation bears blade-like cracks with zero width along with small windows which act as a source of light in the vertical circulation areas and hidden bathroom gardens. The building has two functional activities, one side is an environment-oriented and nature-based educational academy and the other is a high-end restaurant with a craft shop that helps finance the academic programs. The building bears a basic material treatment. From the site itself, Ajlouni Limestone helps in composing materials: Cuts within the walls are exposed as an opening in various places throughout the building, usage of plain concrete blocks in the lecture hall act as a buffer and insulation. A forest lies on the opposite side of the building, the cantilevered terraces of the building float as blades or like paper over the trees’ canopies.
Queen Alia Airport
Queen Alia International Airport is a project by Foster+ Partners. A passive design was inspired by the local traditional techniques. It follows a flexible design solution keeping in mind the future expansion of the airport. It is the main hub in the city for a levant region. The airport can be expanded by 6 per cent per annum for the coming twenty-five years with a passenger capacity of 12 million passengers per annum by the year 2030. The building is constructed with concrete throughout, and high thermal mass provides passive environmental control. shallow concrete domes comprise the roof canopy with a modular unit solution for construction, The domes are extended as branches from the columns which support them similar to the desert palm leaves. Penetration of daylight through the split beams at the junction of the columns. Open-air courtyards too resemble the architectural vernacular in the region. A sense of place and local Architecture is resonated in the design, and the Bedouin tent is an inspiration behind the black-flowing fabric of the domed roof. And with the airport amenities refer to the Jordanian tradition of bidding farewell and hospitality.
100 classrooms for refugee children
100 classrooms for refugee children by the emergency architecture and human rights.The catastrophic effects of the Syrian civil war have led most children into a dark tomorrow. They suffer due to a lack of education: and as a result Emergency architecture and human rights have designed sandbag schools to facilitate education for Syrian and Jordanian children in za’atar village, outside a za’atar refugee camp located 10 km from the Syrian border. The schools will host children in the morning and adults in the afternoon to learn basic reading and writing skills. A product of a super abode technique. The great Mosque of Djenné is an inspiration for the structure, the earthen architecture tech and vernacular beehive house structures of Syria mainly because of the limited source of materials and building methods as well as the harsh environment. This technique does not rely on skilled labour and high tensile strength. Thermal insulation is provided with the help of cement blocks and corrugated metal sheets.This method strives to achieve sustainability by adopting skills for building with this low cost, and energy efficiency for affected communities.
The modern or contemporary Vernacular architecture speaks different languages but all of it to fulfil its purpose, Jordan is a place of this high-value traditional architecture which even today will add Grace to the modern language of architecture and prove efficient. It is not that pure modern is a bane to its architectural heritage, it showcases the present day Jordan, an evolution of its architectural language from ancient to modern, this is how far it has come. Both co-exist in their unique way fabricating a new identity for Jordan.
Citations for Websites
Joshua.J.Mark 2018.Kingdom of Nabatea.[online] (Last updated: 05 March 2018). Available at:Kingdom of Nabatea – World History Encyclopedia [Accesseddate:09/03/2023].
Tom Wilkinson 2017. Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan by Foster + Partners. [online]. (Last updated: 20 April 2017). Available at: Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan by Foster + Partners – Architectural Review (architectural-review.com) [Accessed date:09/03/2023].
Megan Townsend 2018.School built for Syrian refugee children wins top architecture prize.
[online]. (Last updated: 17 Feb 2018).Available at: School built for Syrian refugee children wins top architecture prize | The Independent | The Independent [Accessed date:08/03/2023].
Archello (NA). Royal Academy for Nature Conservation archello . [online]. (Last updated: NA).Available at:Royal Academy for Nature Conservation | Khammash Architects | Archello [Accessed date:08/03/2023].
Maria Redondo 2019. CONNECTION WITH THE DUNES OF AQABA, “AYLA GOLF CLUB” BY OPPENHEIM ARCHITECTURE . [online]. (Last updated: 10 Jun 2019)
.Available at:Connection with the dunes of Aqaba, “Ayla Golfclub” by Oppenheim Architecture | The Strength of Architecture | From 1998 (metalocus.es) [Accessed date:12/03/2023].
Architecture art designs (NA).A Modern Masterpiece – The Abu Samra House by Symbiosis Designs LTD In Jordan [online]. (Last updated: NA).Available at:A Modern Masterpiece – The Abu Samra House by Symbiosis Designs LTD In Jordan (architectureartdesigns.com) [Accessed date:12/03/2023].